My name is Karla and I’m 37 and a single mom to four great kids. I have two daughters 17 & 14 and two sons 7 & 15. I work fulltime during the day so that I can be available for my kids in the evenings. I was born in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri to two loving parents. My mother was an active duty Marine and my father was a retired marine who worked for the NRA at the time I was born. My parents raised me with good moral values and taught me to be active in the local church.
In November of 2009 I was alone with my kids. My husband and I had split up and I wasn’t sure where to turn. In the fall of 2011 the flood left my children without a home and we moved in with my mother. Desperately looking for hope in everyday life I found S.M.I.L.E.
First I found that I wasn’t alone. I had isolated myself because my family and my church upbringing had led me to feel ashamed & alone. I made many friends in SM.I.L.E. with moms from all walks of life. I learned it is possible to live on a tight budget and still really enjoy life.
Another valuable lesson from S.M.I.L.E. was I have options I was taught that my life doesn’t always have to be this way. I have options and part of those options are setting goals. At first I thought this was crazy, every goal I had tried to reach the past never came true. S.M.I.L.E. and another program I’m in I’ve learned to celebrate everything.
Today I live in a farmhouse where I support my family and remember to take care of myself too. I am dating a wonderful man who appreciates my kids and me. S.M.I.L.E. is here for friendship, mentoring, guidance and for me most of all it gives me the ability to share my experience strength and hope with other struggling single moms. Life is possible if you choose to live it. I choose to live everyday to the fullest taking the good with the bad.
Today as chair of S.M.I.L.E. I would like to add to the story of Karla. Karla became a single mother helping a single mother. A mother in an awful situation Karla did not think for minute before jumping in to help another single mother through a terrible struggle. This is what true friendship is.